Four owners only

1953 Bentley R-Type Standard Steel Saloon

Make: Bentley
Model: R-Type Standard Steel Saloon
Year: 1953
Registration Number: RTU 276
Chassis Number: B-11-UL
Engine Number: B-6-U
Transmission: Automatic
Steering: Right Hand Drive
Colour: Bottle Green over Shell Grey
MOT Test Expiry: Exempt
Sold For: £22000

Lot No: 235

Somehow it seems that the post war Mk VI and R-Type Bentleys offered a particularly well balanced means of dignified yet not too ostentatious arrival, maybe somewhat overstated by their later, more complicated brethren. These cars remain eminently useable and an absolute delight to own and drive.  Distinguished from the Mk VI by the larger rear boot, the R-Type has the powerful 4566cc six cylinder engine as found in the later Big Bore example and this, coupled with a smooth four speed automatic gearbox, provides a truly memorable motoring experience. Well balanced steering, servo brakes and fine suspension add to sheer pleasure of the ride. This is a driver’s car yet the sumptuous leather seats, fine carpets and walnut woodwork are guaranteed to cosset the passengers, and the standard sunroof is ideal for continental touring.

Supplied new on the 8th of October 1953 to Bovril Ltd of Old Street, London, this R-Type, which still retains its original registration number, was destined for the Right Honourable Lord Luke. The motor car has had just four owners; it’s second had the motor car in Canada from 1973 and a plaque included in the file shows that the Bentley was exhibited at a classic car event in Toronto in 2014, winning a second prize. After its repatriation, the previous custodian carried out a programme of sympathetic improvements. This work included the fitting of five new Blockley tyres, the rechroming and/or renewing of most brightwork, and the cleaning and treatment of the underside. The current enthusiast custodian purchased the R-Type from DVCA in 2019 and it has been cherished in his ownership. It has only been used in dry weather and stored in a centrally heated garage, and is available now because of advancing years.

We understand that the Bottle Green over Shell Grey bodywork was resprayed some twenty five years ago and it is described as remaining in very good order, as is the original grey leather upholstery, headlining, dashboard and door cappings. The carpets have been renewed. Apparently the period wireless and all instruments are in working order.

Mechanically, we are informed that there are no known faults, everything performs as it should and the Bentley drives and handles as one would expect. All boot and under-bonnet tools are present, including the inspection lamp; the tools in the under-seat tray are also included, apart from one small spanner. A new ‘Town’ radiator cap is supplied and the Bentley is equipped with a factory fitted continental differential. 

There is evidence in the history file that the engine was dismantled in 1991 with new pistons fitted and the cylinders rebored to .030 oversize. The crankshaft was checked and new standard size bearings fitted. The cylinder head was also overhauled at that time. 

Four service manuals are supplied with the motor car, together with the handbook. The history file also contains a large quantity of invoices (including those retained from the Bentley’s time in Ontario), lots of correspondence, copies of the factory build sheets, a distributor and timing data pamphlet, a chassis numbers booklet and the V5C registration certificate.

ADDENDUM: Please note lower guide price

Auction Date: 23 November 2023